U.S. Advances to Gold Cup Final

DFZKmlmXgAE8pXz

By JACK HAZZARD

Gold Cup logoARLINGTON, Tex. — Late goals from Jozy Altidore and a record-tying strike from the super-sub Clint Dempsey propelled the United States to a 2-0 semifinal victory over Costa Rica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and into the championship match. The U.S. put together its most dominant performance in a long while, controlling the match before 45,516 at  AT&T Stadium on Saturday night.

The United States, which will play in the final for the 10th time, will face the winner of Sunday’s other semifinal between Jamaica and Mexico. The championship match is scheduled for Wednesday night at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif..

The United States broke out quickly only seconds of the game when link up plays between Altidore and Paul Arriola nearly led to a Jordan Morris goal. But Morris fired his shot off of the right post.

The U.S. dictated play in the the first half, holding the ball 62 percent of the time. That possession, however, led to few bona fide chances on goal. For its part, Costa Rica seemed contend to defend and wait for opportunities to counter.

Not much changed in the second half, until U.S. Coach Bruce Arena went to his bench and inserted Clint Dempsey, then everything changed.

In the 72nd minute, Dempsey received a pass with his back to the goal. He turned and rolled a pass to Altidore on the left for a shot that was deflected by goalkeeper Patrick Pemberton, but rolled into the net. Altidore tore off his jersey and ran elatedly toward the U.S. bench before receiving a yellow card.

Dempsey sealed the victory in the 82nd minute, placing a free kick low and inside the far post. The goal, Dempsey’s 57th for the national team, put him into a tie with Landon Donovan (one of the analysts on the Fox Sports 1 telecast) for most career goals.